Saturday, June 16, 2018

Why Deku is the Best Protagonist Right Now

Written by Shiggins

I need a hero!

With My Hero Academia Season 3 currently airing, and doing a splendid job of adapting the source material if I do say so myself, now is the best time to talk about the anime protagonist Midoriya Izuku, also known as Deku, and why he is arguably the best hero that Shonen Jump has to offer in this day and age, now that we no longer have Naruto or Ichigo or Light. 

Note: Very minor spoilers for My Hero Academia follow.

Well first of all, he's soooooo cute!

In the world of My Hero Academia, there is a huge number of civilians who have superpowers, known as "Quirks". Think of it like a reversal on the X-Men franchise, where the majority of civilians have these powers and its those without powers that often feel out-of-place and different when compared to the rest of their group/class. And this brings us to Midoriya Izuku.

Midoriya is a huge fanboy and dork who adores the greatest hero, All Might, and wishes he had a Quirk of his own so he could become a hero too. Of course, he gets his chance when he meets All Might and is given the super Quirk "One for All". It isn't an easy ride to the top however, as Midoriya needs to train every day and work as hard as he possibly can to learn how to use this skill.

And that brings us to one of the best points of the character; Training!

It's the Eye of the Hero!
To me, there is nothing more detestable than a bigshot hero who can do it all because they were born with the gifts, or because they did all their training off-screen and you just have to assume he/she/it went through all the hardcore workouts needed. Big moments in a story needs to feel earned by both the writer and the character, but if you don't build up to that moment and show the work it took to get to it, then the investment is lacking and the moment loses impact.

For example, I hate Soma from Shokugeki no Soma/Food Wars. From episode one, he is a perfect man with perfect skills and perfect teeth who can create the best dishes that make everyone else look like fools. Everyone else can't compare to his amazing prowess, and he literally causes orgasms through his dishes because he is so damn blessed with skills. We're told he learned at his dad's small restaurant, but that doesn't take away from the fact we're not shown any hard work and instead shown people literally falling to their knees because of how great he is.

A perfect representation of his character, when you really think about it.
On the other hand, Midoriya has to work out on a schedule, day after day. He obsesses over tiny details and huge facts equally, and so the result of him actually getting muscles or defeating his first villain is something that the story built up to and therefore, is earned.

To continue to use Soma as an example of what's wrong with protagonists and what Deku does right, I want to refer you back to this line; "people literally falling to their knees because of how great he is".

Yes, there is nothing less annoying than watching your favourite supporting characters be absolute bitches in front of the heroic protagonist, is there? To treat them as if they are God incarnate and, if they are the opposite gender, to want to kiss them until they are dried out husks because the protagonist is just so damn handsome and they need them and aaaaah! Shut up!

You don't know how much I'd pay to see Kenshiro having to study.
You know what Midoriya is? Part of the class. A member of the team. A friend. He isn't on a pedestal, but rather he's in awe of people who clearly are around him. Whether it be his rival Bakugou, the badass Todoroki, the acid-spitting Pink Waifu of mine, or whoever else, Midoriya is always on their level and treats everyone with genuine respect for it. When I hear someone like Soma say "I respect you", it comes across as condescending due to their position above them all. Midoriya comes across as genuine, and that means so much more. People cheer for him when its his turn, and he cheers for them when its their turn, whether it be in battle against a huge foe or showing off a room to win a contest.

And on that note, we come to another point in Midoriya's favour, and that's his social life.

Now normally, a character's comedic antics or dull situations would be reserved for the filler of an anime, and the canon material would only focus on the main storyline. And I'll be honest; I hate that. One of my favourite manga ever, Negima! Magister Negi Magi, took considerable time to focus on the side characters and let us know what they were up to, while also giving us some good laughs along the way. And one of my biggest criticisms of Naruto, a series I adored, was that it never took the time to focus or develop the characters besides Naruto and Sasuke.

You're a teenage boy, Midoriya. They could have seen a LOT worse.
Thankfully, My Hero Academia has shown Midoriya in plenty of casual and fun situations. Just recently, at time of writing, Midoriya participated in a dance with his classmates! You'd never get to see Naruto do that, because he was never able to relax and became less relatable because of it. Every show needs a balance, and Midoriya's time freaking out over whether or not he can go inside a girl's room is a perfect example of balancing out the darker moments with comedy.

Funnily enough, a lot of shows would never think of relaxing with comedy situations or mundane activities, because they think the character needs to spend every second of every day kicking names and taking ass. However, seeing the boredom of taking an exam brought to life in a manga is what makes me think of the writer as secure and wise. I would have loved to have seen Naruto help out Rock Lee (no, poorly-written filler does not count) at some point.

My Hero Academia has a long way to go, so hopefully the character of Izuku "Deku" Midoriya continues to thrive in many fun ways. Keep working hard, balance out the drama and tension with realism and fun, and never become a God amongst mortals.

And most importantly, stay cute!

Damn. I have to figure out how he did that one!


Who is your favourite currently-running protagonist? Tell me in the comments below!


Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/

10 comments:

  1. I don't know about the "stay cute" thing since that's how you end up with characters like Goku and Luffy in their older years. technically you're half right about soma but the that's basically what happens when he's taught by a dad who never really tells him anything about where he learned to cook and it's not like soma won every match he's been in but yeah there are points where it's predictable and honestly that argument on soma can be said for a lot of the characters who got their skills "off screen" as you put it. the off screen thing is a common trope and I'm sure academia will be using that trope in some later arcs where the "off screen" training trope does work but only when used correctly and executed perfectly at certain moments they're needed when the time for exposition comes.

    also Naruto and Ichigo are still around according to Japanese polls due to certain app mobile games and the shinobi striker game still using him to build up boruto in a poor manner, and even more evident in the coming jump force game shown at E3 where it's evident at least in japan Naruto and Ichigo are still relevant.

    if anything I feel Boruto would be the better example on what you were trying to say when you used soma. soma comes as a close second in that regard where even though you don't like him his goal is at least clear in where he's trying to go in his eventual career as a chef. although to be fair this new arc in food wars looks like it may not be all too great with what feels like a really badly thought out arc but we'll see on that.

    anyway there's my thoughts on the matter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel like I don't need to explain this to you but I will anyway: Naruto and Ichigo's stories are over. Obviously. Mobile apps and polls don't change that. Cell was in FighterZ. He's still dead. But you know all this.

    As for the rest... whatever helps you sleep at night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're thinking of that from a westerners stand point and technically you can't say Naruto is over so long as boruto continues to use his name to justify why it's a continuation over a spin off kind of like dragon ball is over but z still continues it then gt then rebooted it for super as a more proper continuation where even now dragon ball has another movie

      And bleach is not over due to kubo doing a light. Novel, a reboot origin story to the to the live action movie that has Japan excited for some reason

      So overall no you can't say they're over when there's a ton of shit still coming out for them for better or worse in some cases. You can't look at from a western stand point you have to look at it from a world stand point and that means knowing that you can't say something is over till Japan drops them entirely.

      Also your last line of whatever helps sleep at night or whatever doesn't apply to anyone since no one is talking about sleep here.

      Delete
    2. Ok. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

      Delete
    3. So you're just gonna be a dick to anyone who disagrees with you?

      Delete
    4. Just you. And your "amazing" criticisms that appear on every single article. Like Japanese polls. So not anyone. Just you.

      Delete
  3. My hero academia midoriya is one of the last dying breed . an archetypical shonen protagonist -goku , luffy , Gon, naruto- .which why I favour.I don't follow many from the current generation of manga , after the old getting the axe in the past 4 years (2014 especially was a big one ) . It is probably me , but the current types of manga is too cute to follow ( you get sick quickly ) . Jump seem truly in a drought of interesting manga ( which of course matter of taste -but this reflect in circulation - last year was the worst) .

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Who is your favourite currently-running protagonist?"

    If your talking about from other anime, my favorite would have to be Aichi Sendou from Cardfight Vanguard. His story is actually a lot like Deku's, only in card game form.

    But if your mean from this anime, it's gotta be Tsu. She's a girl with frog powers. Nuff said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You aren't wrong with your choices. Frog girl. 'Nuff said.

      Delete
    2. I know right? If a cute character with a good personality can make a frog motif work, you know she's gonna be a fan favorite.

      Delete